‘The Watcher’ Most Streamed Show as Netflix Makes Historic Debut at U.K. TV Audience Measurement

U.K. audience numbers for global streamer Netflix are finally available and “The Watcher” was the most streamed show with more than half a million views on Nov. 1, according to Overnights.tv.

The traditional measurement markers of audience share and peak audience are not relevant as on demand services have no schedule, with the only relevant metric being average audience. On this front, while not directly comparable, Netflix’s half a million number is respectable, even though it is below the top 20 shows watched on Nov. 1 that ranged from 4.3 million viewers for Channel 4’s “The Great British Bake Off” in the top spot to an average of 1.3 million for another Channel 4 show “Nnamdi’s Story: Stand Up to Cancer” in 20th.

In October, Netflix signed up to U.K. ratings body BARB – an acronym for the Broadcasters Audience Research Board – in what was a massive coup for TV audience measurement in Britain. While BARB has technically been reporting on streaming numbers in the U.K. for a year now — numbers that have only been available to its broadcaster clients and prohibited from being published — it’s been doing so without the involvement of Netflix and Amazon as clients. Disney+ is already signed up.

BARB is planning to deliver a definitive report of the most-watched shows each week by extending its weekly reporting of the top 50 shows on its website to incorporate shows across all broadcast channels and SVOD services, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix – should they feature in the week’s top 50. The first report will be available on Nov. 15, for viewing during the week ending November 6.

The second report will be available on November 22, for viewing during the week ending November 13. This will potentially include viewing to Season 5 of “The Crown” on Netflix following its November 9 launch.

In addition, from the second week of November 2022, BARB will publicly report the monthly reach and share of viewing for broadcaster groups and SVOD/AVOD services which account for more than 0.5% of total identified viewing.

Justin Sampson, chief executive of BARB, said: “As our viewing figures for Netflix become more public, it’s clear the leading SVOD service is a settled part of the television ecosystem. And our independent data will clarify how Netflix and other SVOD services compete with broadcasters, who continue to account for the lion’s share of viewing.”

“For many programs, our overnight ratings are a snapshot of their popularity. Viewers increasingly watch programmes at a time that suits them, so consolidated ratings over seven, or even 28, days are widely regarded as a better gauge of a program’s success. Our definitive weekly report of the most-watched shows across all linear and on-demand services focuses on viewing in the first seven days,” Sampson added.

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